Monday, April 11, 2011

Rangers To Start 2011-12 Season In Sweden, Sign Carl Hagelin

The excitement over the playoffs is in full force as the team prepares for Wednesday’s opener in Washington, but beyond that there is news for the future of the Rangers organization.  The first bit of news is that the NHL has confirmed the New York Rangers will open next season in Stockholm Sweden against the Los Angeles Kings on October 7 and then the Anaheim Ducks October 8. 

Normally not a huge fan of the Rangers starting the year in Europe and how it messes with the schedule, but this time is different.  Madison Square Garden is going to be unavailable until the end of October for the renovations, so the team was going to be on the road regardless.  The fact that Henrik Lundqvist will get to go back and play in Sweden with this trip is another reason to be happy about it happening.  The team will likely still have a lengthy road trip when they return to the US.

The other news is that the Rangers official twitter account announced the team has signed 2007 six-round pick Carl Hagelin to an entry level contract starting next season and amateur tryout offer (ATO) to play for the Whale starting this weekend.  The six-foot, 187-pounder had 18 goals and 31 assists in 44 games in his senior season at Michigan and led his team to the NCAA title game where they lost to Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 in OT.  While it is unlikely, it would be special if Hagelin could make the team out of camp and play in Sweden to start his NHL career.